December 21, 2006 at 9:47 AM | Posted in Tsukiko Amano | Leave a comment

A MOON CHILD IN THE SKY is Tsukiko Amano’s 4th studio album and it was released on September 21, 2005. The album reached #42 on the Oricon Weekly Charts.

Amano was obviously inspired by Star Wars Episode III just by looking at the cover and booklet scans.

♦ ♦ ♦

The opening track of the album, A MOON CHILD IN THE SKY, is a short (but ambient) 1 minute instrumental that seamlessly flows into the next track, Devil Flamingo. Compared to her past works, Amano incorporates A LOT of synth into the new album tracks and it really shows. This is a furious song and I love Amano’s gritty, fast paced vocals in the chorus.

Track 3 is pretty much a continuation of the previous track because it follows the same style. JOKER JOE has even more electric guitars and synth.

Track 4 is a new version of Idea, Amano’s 9th single. The only main differences I can detect in this version are the muffled vocals at the beginning and stronger percussion of the overall BGM. Aside from that, it’s almost identical.

Track 5 is the upbeat and jazzy Stone. This song combines strings and percussion with light electric guitar. The bridge was always the highlight for me in this song.

The next track is a completely rearranged version of Hisui, Amano’s 10th single. I’ll just say that I don’t like this new version because there are so many unnecessary changes. The original version was a breathtaking string ballad but the ‘Moon child’ version just doesn’t compare to it. Amano’s vocals aren’t as good and and the overall BGM just doesn’t work. The song gets better at the end when some strings come in, but they are different as well.

Track 7, 1/2 -a half-, opens with a creepy organ solo and then with that familiar synth. The chorus is excellent and I love the bridge because it showcases Amano’s amazing vocal range.

Track 8 is Koe, the Fatal Frame III theme song. This song will always be one of my favorites from Tsukiko Amano because of its overall ambience and atmosphere.

The next track is the oddly cheerful Satoumizu. The opening piano keys are cute and the whole song is upbeat. The addiction of strings and electric guitar is excellent. I’m a sucker for her semi-pop songs.

Track 10 is the punkish Parade. It’s too bad this song is way too similar to Devil Flamingo and JOKER JOE.

Track 11 is the pop ballad Hakase to Kujaku. It’s a mid paced with gentle vocals from Amano and a nice percussion beat.

The last track on the album (before the secret bonus track) is BY FAR the best new song on the album. Kakan begins as a calm piano ballad with beautiful vocals during the chorus. As soon as the first chorus is over, the song explodes into a flurry of electric guitar and synth. This when the song becomes quite epic and faster paced. The bridge features a haunting electric guitar solo and string arrangement. There are just so many transitions in this song which make it so amazing. I wish Amano released this song as a single.

About 40 seconds after the ending of Kakan, I was completely surprised to hear Taisou. This song is pure bubblegum pop with cutesy background vocals and the crazy voice of a male announcer. It’s a comical and fun way to end this VERY serious album.

A MOON CHILD IN THE SKY definitely contains a mix of different genres of music. It’s mostly hard rock and synth but the music in-between all that makes this a very enjoyable album to listen to. The only dissapointment I had was with the new version of Hisui. If you compared this album to her previous ones, it’s almost as good but each of her albums presents a different style of music so it’s hard to judge. Tenryuu (her 3rd album) will always be my favorite album from her and this one is probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite. Amano never fails to amaze me and she is one of the few artists to always release impeccable and infectious music.

Overall Rating

4½ stars


2. Devil Flamingo
4. Idea (A Moon Child mix) (イデア)
5. Stone
6. Hisui (A Moon Child type) (翡翠)
7. 1/2 -a half-
8. Koe (聲)
9. Satoumizu (砂糖水)
10. Parade (パレード)
11. Hakase to Kujaku (博士と孔雀)
12. Kakan (花冠)
Hidden bonus track: Taisou (体操)

Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!


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